Aluminum Gutter Cleaning Tips Aluminum Gutter Cleaning Tips
Aluminum gutters are an effective way to protect your roof and home from water damage. However, if your gutters are not cleaned properly, it significantly reduces the effectiveness and increases the chance for damage to your home.
When to Clean Aluminum Gutters
Aluminum gutters need to be cleaned at least twice a year. If you have trees near your gutters, if you live in a wooded area, or if you live in an area that has a lot of storms, gutters may need to be cleaned more than twice a year to ensure that they do their job. Even if you have gutter screens or covers, they still need to be cleaned.
Safety and Tools for Cleaning Your Aluminum Gutters
When cleaning your aluminum gutters, safety precautions should be taken. Using a tall step ladder is generally safer than using an extension ladder. Whichever you use, the ladder needs to be securely on the ground. If you use an extension ladder, do not lean the ladder up against the aluminum gutters. Doing so can damage the gutters and make it unstable to be on the ladder. Make sure you do not lean over the sides and never step on the top two rungs of any ladder. Also, when cleaning your aluminum gutters, wear thick garden gloves. The aluminum is sharp and exposed nails or screws can be dangerous. Also, it is best if you wear protective eye wear.
To clean your aluminum gutters, in addition to the safety equipment, you will also need a long water hose with an attachment that has an on/off sprayer, a small garden trowel, a heavy duty trash bag, and a plumbers snake.
How to Clean Your Aluminum Gutters
First, scoop out the leaves, sticks and large debris using the garden trowel. It is best to scoop it into the trash bag to save you from more clean up later. If you cannot safely do this on the ladder, you may have to take the extra step to clean up the yard. Scoop all debris out and away from the down spout.
Once you have scooped out the large debris, use the hose to spray the inside of the gutters. Aim the sprayer towards the down spout. Use a medium setting, strong enough to remove debris, but not so strong that you end up soaking yourself and causing the overspray to splash mud on your house. Be careful not to get the water hose wrapped around the legs of the ladder. You may have to use the trowel to loosen up additional dirt and debris that may be caked on the aluminum gutter. You can also use a stiff scrub brush to remove caked-on dirt. Be careful not to scrub or scrape too hard to avoid damaging the gutters.
Spray the hose into the down spout to clean the rest of the dirt and debris from the aluminum gutter. If at any time the downspout becomes clogged, use the plumber's snake to remove the clog. Simply run the plumbers snake from the bottom of the downspout in an upwards motion to remove the clog.